Rockport Rates: "Halloween"

 1. Halloween (1978)

Johns Carpenter's original is one the best horror movies of all time.  Jamie Lee Curtis sets the standard for scream queens.  Michael Myers is at his creepy best!  We begin our long relationship with Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis.

2. Halloween II (1981)

A very impressive sequel that continues the events of the first. Jamie Lee is back to battle Michael. While the crazy Dr. Loomis follows close behind.

3. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Introducing Danielle Harris as Jamie, Michael's niece who must die.  She gives an absolutely amazing performance for such a young girl.  Dr. Loomis is still alive? This one also has one of the best endings in the whole franchise.

4. Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998)

Jamie Lee Curtis returns with a great young cast.  A brief return to brilliance for the franchise after the disappointment number 6.

5. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Jaime (Danielle Harris) is back and so is Michael.

6. Halloween (Rob Zombie Remake) (2007)

An ambitious remake from the right director, but still falls flat with weak character development (except for Michael) and the originals building of suspense and subtle terror.  There is nothing subtle in anything associated with Rob Zombie.

7. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

The black sheep of the franchise.  Who needs Michael Myers, right?  Wrong.  I liked the performance of veteran horror actor Tom Atkins though.  "Eight more days 'til Halloween Silver Shamrock".  Ahh! can't get that tune out of my head.

8. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

A pregnant Teenage Jamie is kidnapped by some Druids who steal her baby so Michael can ceremoniously kill it or something like that.  Has a very dated early 90's feel.  Grunge is so in dude!

9. Halloween II (Rob Zombie Sequel) (2009)

A complete mess from inception to somewhat completion.  The audience gets tortured by the filmmakers instead of Michael Myers.

10. Halloween Resurrection (2002)

Web Cams and Busta Rhymes bring the franchise to rock bottom lows.

"The Amityville Horror" (2005) Welcome Home!


"Houses don't kill people, people kill people".  The original 1979 movie starred James Brolin and Margot Kidder as a family that moves into a big beautiful house only to find it has a storied and brutal past.  The movie is based on a true story of the most famous haunted house in America.  The house itself is a very iconic image in the history of horror movies, almost like the mansion in "Psycho"  The movies both old and new are based on the book "The Amityville Horror" by Jay Anson.

Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George take on the lead roles of George and Kathy Lutz, while their little girl Chelsea is played by up and coming superstar Chloe Grace Moretz ("Kick-Ass", "Let Me In").  Taking place in 1974, George is a building contractor who is looking for a new house for his new instant family.  Kathy is a widower with 3 kids so George must really find Kathy special.  All kidding aside they find a giant house at a bargain price and wonder what the catch is.  Well here it is, they are told a year earlier a family was brutally murdered after living there for 28 days.  Things start out great for the family as they usually do, but things don't stay that way for long.  George becomes more angry, more aggressive and begins to lose touch with reality.  Is it the house or is he just in a little over his head with what's going on in his life?  This movie also loads on the typical horror clich├ęs.  It has a cold and creepy basement, freaky kids up to no good, old priests who have lost their faith and get attacked by flies, you know the usual.

Chelsea has a new imaginary friend in Jodie, who might not be all that imaginary (or alive for that matter)  Kathy also starts to see and hear things.  After witnessing the changes overcoming George she consults the local priest played by the great Phillip Baker Hall.  We get a little more backstory on the house, but the priest role is pretty underused.  While in the house George feels physically ill and his mental state starts to quickly erode, until he finally loses it.  I know this isn't the greatest movie, but for a horror remake it does the job and doesn't crap all over the original.    Ryan Reynolds is known more for his comedic roles, but he is also a good dramatic actor (see "Buried"). 

There are countless sequels and other "Amityville" horror movies but the original and this remake are the ones to watch.

"Stigmata" Yeah its Really is That Bad!


Usually, I don't do reviews of bad movies but when I originally saw "Stigmata" on DVD in the late 90s I actually thought it was pretty good.  Now as I re-watch it over 10 years later I can definitely say, What the hell was I thinking?  It feels dated, overly stylized and just plain bad all around.

Taking place in the waterlogged city of Pittsburg, where it is constantly raining and dreary.  Patricia Arquette plays Frankie Paige a hair stylist who becomes afflicted with the stigmata, or the wounds of Christ, after receiving a rosary from her mother as a gift.  The rosary belonged to a recently deceased South American priest whose church recently had their statue of the Virgin Mary bleed.  Frankie is an atheist and the stigmata usually only appear to extremely devout Catholics.  The wounds of the stigmata cannot be transferred through physical items.  Its also has nothing to with demonic possession, actually quite the opposite.  We then meet Father Andrew Kiernan, a Vatican investigator of miracles.  He is sent to meet with Frankie and we learn that she is 23 years old, yeah sure you are and I am Abraham Lincoln.  They talk and she tries to seduce him, and he refuses for the most part.  Later on, she seems to be possessed by some evil spirit and writes all over her apartment walls.  This is supposedly is a lost gospel of the Bible written by Jesus himself.  It tries to be scary and horrific but epically fails.

This train wreck was directed by Rufus Wainwright and like a lot of movies in the 90s, it suffers from over stylization (AKA The Tarantino Effect).  Style over substance and style just for the sake of trying to be "cool".  It pays no attention to factual accuracy and just kind of creates its own thing on the fly.  The musical score sounds like something out of the 80s and not in a good nostalgic way.  The entire look and feel of the film is pretty dated and it wasn't even made that long ago.  This is definitely a view at your own risk movie.